What do you say when you find out Testicle Festival’s been scrapped indefinitely? “Balls.”
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, we can discuss what the heck Testicle Festival is and why it’s completely logical that organizers scrapped it. As reported by the Missoulian, Testicle Festival—colloquially, Testy Fest—is an annual uh, celebration, I guess, of Rocky Mountain oysters that takes place just outside my town of Missoula in nearby Clinton, Montana. (Golf claps for the Missoulian’s front-page, print headline: “Festival serves its last testicle.”) But throughout its “storied” 35-year history, Testicle Festival has become less about the testicles and more about debauchery, drunkenness, and roughhousing. I’m not sure what outsiders would consider the typical testicle enthusiast to be, but picture 10,000 Sturgis rejects enjoying copious amounts of alcohol.
That latter detail, especially, has spelled tragedy for Testy Fest in years past. Two people died and seven were injured last year when a man with a 0.2 blood-alcohol content grabbed the wheel of a shuttle bus leaving the festival. In 2012, a festival attendee stole a truck with the keys in the ignition from the festival hosts, Rock Creek Lodge, traveling six miles down the highway before striking a car driven by a Seattle family. The 8-year-old passenger was killed in the accident.
So it’s really no surprise that law enforcement is relieved to see Rock Creek Lodge’s owners scrap the festival, which will now remain only as a memory and as the subject of an essay in Chuck Palahniuk’s Stranger Than Fiction. Rock Creek Lodge can go back to its role as a quiet, sheltered outpost along one of the state’s most prized trout-fishing streams.
For my part, I was momentarily a little disappointed to see the festival cancelled this year, as I’d be hoping to pen my own Fear And Loathing-style dispatch as a first-time attendee this summer. After a moment’s more consideration, though, I realize I’ve probably dodged a bullet. Or testicle.